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Callington Community College

Callington Community College

Callington Community College

Film Studies

Lead Teacher of Film: Mrs K Kirby


With Film being an important cultural medium in today’s world, Film Studies at A Level seeks to offer diverse social, historical and national cultures ranging from the familiar to the unfamiliar.  There is no other subject like it given that it is a marriage of technical and creative processes and will equip students with analytical skills not likely to be encountered in other subjects.

In their study of Film Studies at Callington Community College, our students are given the opportunity to investigate how films work and why they have the effect that they do on their audiences.  The exciting curriculum stretches students’ learning in a creative and challenging way, allowing them to explore filmmaking techniques through the micro features of film and through practical elements in a different and inspiring way.

Consisting of a team of 3 Media and Film specialists, all of whom are also experienced English teachers, we deliver a curriculum that both challenges and supports our students through genuine practical engagement and a sustained theoretical analysis. The course selected and created by Callington Community College allows for a huge choice of films or topics in both coursework and exam options, designed to engage students and push them in new directions.

 Key Stage 5 overview:

Students are taught in mixed ability groupings, and are taught in our state of the art Apple Mac suite.  We teach to the WJEC A Level Film Studies qualification.  Differentiated lessons engage all students through the use of practical lessons to develop skills and with a strong focus on developing knowledge and understanding of in depth theoretical analysis.  Film Studies encompasses the study of the whole range of film including options such as: Social, Political and Cultural Studies through the medium of film, Crime, Horror or Comedy genre studies, Regional and National Identity, Star and Studio Studies and American Comparative Cinema all at AS, and Bollywood, Iranian Cinema, Soviet and German Expressionism, Italian Neo Realism, Cinematic New waves, Latin American Cinema, Surrealist and Fantasy Cinema, Urban Stories: Power, Poverty and Conflict as well as Documentary and Spectatorship at A2. The specification has a huge range and the texts studied are enormously varied in style, form and context.

We have developed (using blogs and Google Classroom) a cooperative and collaborative method of teaching that reaches out to students whether they are in class, at home or on the bus and allows them access to support from qualified and specialist teachers regularly. Students also have a great deal of individual input into the texts they wish to study for the exam and their own written and practical coursework projects. This allows them to be confident of their learning because, fundamentally, it comes from them.

A-Level Film Studies allows students to engage in a theoretical and practical exploration of films that aren’t often part of mainstream consumption. It introduces students to a broad range of theoretical concepts that have cross curricular relevance to the study of other A level subjects including English Literature, Media Studies, Art, Sociology and even Philosophy.

The course consists of four units:

AS Level Units   

American Film 

European Film

A2 Level Units   

American and British Film

Varieties of Film

Hollywood since the 1960s – this is a primarily exam based unit that focuses on the micro features of film (mise-en-scene, performance, cinematography, editing and sound).  Students will look at the construction of meaning and emotion and the role of the spectator.  Students will produce either an extract from a film or a screenplay between 1200 and 1400 words that includes a digitally photographed storyboard of a key section from the screenplay.  They will also need to include a reflective analysis of between 1000 and 1250 words.

European Film – this is an exam based unit which focuses on a comparative study of two British films from a set list of films from different historical periods.  Students will need to answer one question in the exam based on the two films that they have studied in class.  A further section to this is on Non-English language European films where students will study one set film and answer one structured question in the exam.

Varieties of Film – for this unit, students must study two films representing different film movements, including a silence film.  Students will also study a documentary film and two non-English-language films.  The films are chosen from a set list of texts and will focus on world cinema and the diverse effects of film, spectatorship issues from a variety of contexts and a critical study of two films in depth.

Beyond A Level for Film Studies 

There are a wide range of courses in the field of Film studies, Media, and Film, Radio and TV production. Opportunities for employment are good but the industry is competitive and demand for jobs will always exceed supply because of the assumed glamour of working in the industry.

 The specification for the WJEC A Level course can be accessed at: